Happy B’day Chad Hurley: The Co-Founder Of The World’s Largest Video Library

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Chad Hurley never cared about success, he mended his ideas and tried to garner the fruits from those. But not every time his ideas were successful. His Men’s clothing range- Hlaska and investment in Formula 1 team proved to be his biggest mistakes after the success of YouTube. Rather taking the safe side Chad decided to mend his ideas, and later the wounded tiger returned with and these ventures returned Chad the throne he desired.

“I try to absorb all the types of style and design. I don’t try and restrict my thinking. I enjoy the old and the new. You need that broad perspective to create something new.”

An outstanding artist from childhood, Chad Meredith Hurley along with Steve Chen and Jawed Karim founded the imperative video library YouTube on February 14, 2005. Before starting the YouTube, Chad Hurley was working at PayPal. At his job interview at PayPal, he was asked to design a PayPal logo to test his designing skills.

If Google buys your venture that means you surely have something in you. ‘YouTube’ was accidentally developed when Chad Hurley and Steve Chen were facing issues regarding the online upload of videos, as before YouTube there was no other platform where one can upload large video. YouTube proved to be the second largest search engine after Google. Later in October 2006, Google acquired YouTube for a whopping $1.65 billion in stocks.

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YouTube was started as a dating site but never went live on the web. Citing personal problems of watching and uploading online videos, Chad and Chen designed YouTube. With the passage of time, YouTube became a hit when 3 million unique visitors were recorded in a month’s launch. Today, YouTube is localized in 91 countries and can be accessed in 80 different languages. Almost one-third of Internet users in the world use YouTube, every month.

Born to Don Hurley and Joan Hurley, Chad has an elder sister and a brother. An arts fanatic Chad graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1999 with Bachelors’ of Arts degree in Fine Arts. He is married to Kathy Clark, the daughter of Netscape Founder Jim Clark and has two children.

Chad Hurley

Later in 2005 ditching his tech venture, Chad started focusing on his men’s clothing line ‘Hlaska’ – Named after Hawaii and Alaska which he co-founded with Anthony Mazzie. Hlaska eventually failed to impress the masses. And his investment in the F1 team ‘Team US F1’ was again a failure.

In 2014, the billion dollar partners, Chad and Chen came up with a new venture named ‘AVOS Systems’ which provides a platform to create real-time Apps.

Born: 24 January 1977, Reading, Pennsylvania, USA

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Net Worth: ~$400 million

Failures accompanying successes never appeared to be a speed breaker for Chad, who always pushed his limits and tried his hands on different ventures; more insights are listed below:

  • Chad’s artistic abilities can be observed in the PayPal’s Logo that he created during the job interview of PayPal and got selected for the position of graphic designer and was the 15th employee. It was there that he met Steve Chen. During his childhood, he used to sell his drawings on a sidewalk in front of his home.

I think the success around any product is really about subtle insights. You need a great product and a bigger vision to execute against, but it’s really those small things that make the big difference.

  • Following their own problems with the online videos and inability to upload a large video file online, Chen and Chad founded YouTube and decided to keep its interface and experience as simple as possible by allowing the video to be viewed without any hassles like registration or any special software.

If you’re creating an entertainment site, you want the content to be the star.

  • A team of 10 alongside Chad and Chen worked their hearts out without any salary to make YouTube what it is today. Chad always kept his team motivated and helped in maintaining a positive environment in the workplace.
  • Improving Bandwidth capabilities to protect the site from crashing due to the massive traffic required a lot of funding that came from PayPal. The initial fund money of around $3.5 million and another funding of $8 million was received.
  • Jawed Karim helped the duo with some technical issues, and YouTube was established above a pizza shop in San Mateo. The duo faced the major issue of money as the site was free to all.
  • “Knowing everything about the product is not necessary, but one should always work targeting the needs of the community and always be prepared for the change in design”, is what Chad advises the budding young entrepreneurs.
  • In October 2010, Chad Hurley stepped down as CEO of YouTube, stating that he would stay on as an advisor of YouTube.
  • As a part of the experiment for Chad and Chen, the duo acquired Delicious in 2011, a bookmaking website, under their venture AVOS. But later AVOS sold Delicious to Science Inc. as it wanted to focus on just one product. The duo also founded ‘Zeen’- an online magazine making service but was later shut down.
  • Chen and Chad split: After 15 years of working together finally this billion dollar partnership of Chad and Chen broke and Chad alone founded his close to the heart venture of Mixbit in 2013 (an easy way to create the edited video).

When I started running cross-country and track in school, literally every race was a failure.

The post is a part of a B’day Series where we celebrate the birthday of renowned personalities from Tech Industry, very frequently. The series includes Entrepreneurs, C-level Executives, innovators or a renewed leaders who moved the industry with his exponential skill set and vision. The intent is to highlight the person’s achievements and touch base the little known, but interesting, part of his life. You can see the list of all earlier celebrated tech personalities, including Mark Zuckerberg, Marissa Mayor, Sean Parker, Andy Rubin, Julian AssangeSir Richard Branson, Sergey Brin by following this link or subscribe to your daily newsletter.

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